Milton brings his skill to the boys tennis team

By Olivia Ranucci, Contributor

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Junior tennis player Stephen Tilton, known by friends as Milton, is new to the West Essex boys tennis team, but not the sport. Steve has played tennis for six years and although his practice attendance might not always show it, his passion still remains strong.

Steve has proven his skill this past season, but despite his achievements on the court, he gives off a very laid back, carefree vibe. He enjoys playing tennis and does not stress about being the best.

“I guess I have to say tennis is my favorite sport because it’s really the only one I play,” he said. “I’m pretty hyped for next season but can’t say i’ll be preparing for it at all.”

Fellow teammates and his coaches admire Tilton’s unique attitude on the court.

“He’s a really interesting character. Honestly, everyone on the team seems to think of him this way,” senior Peter Molina said. “He definitely likes the game — I wouldn’t say he loves it. But when he gets on the court, he plays like he has trained for the game his entire life.”

In the past, Steve played lacrosse, another spring sport that overlapped with tennis, but his junior year he made the bold decision to switch and join the school tennis team. Steve plays mostly singles on the court and occasionally plays doubles.

“The switch to tennis was definitely the way to go I’m glad I changed it up this year it was way better for me than lacrosse was,” Steve said.

This season Steve has had to challenge himself as a player due to injuries on the team which made him stand out as a player and valuable team asset. He helped the team earn the Essex County Consolation trophy this season which was an exciting win.

“I’m a pretty flexible player which is why I think I was helpful to the team this year,” Steve said. “As long as I am playing I’m happy.”

“He was forced into new roles for different matches and he did it without complaint” Coach Mr. Semaya said. “Everyone will be looking for Stephen to lead by example from both a commitment and on court play perspective.”

Although Steve does not plan on continuing his tennis career in college he does plan on playing his senior year for West Essex. He also is considering going out for captain. Steve’s favorite part of the tennis team is that although it is individually played, in the end the game still requires a team effort.

“Next year is a big year for Stephen,” Coach Semaya said. “I have every expectation he he will challenge for a starting position on the team.“